The lack of sleep and the germs from daycare and all of the running around is catching up with me. The seasons are changing and, unlike most of the population, when the Sun starts shining and the birds start chirping I don’t skip along joyfully smiling and sniffing the peonies. I sweat and sneeze and whine and wheeze. I do not feel rejuvenated and refreshed, I feel worn and ragged. It’s like my fragile inner self is exposed when I shed the protective outer shell of my winter wardrobe. I look as strong as a rock, but I am just pumice. Full of holes. Easily eroded.
Infant Grouch was already in bed for the evening and Mr. Grouch, recognizing my weariness (read: crankiness), took Toddler Grouch out for a car ride to give me a half hour window of quiet time so I could nap. Just as I shut my eyes, the baby started crying.
She cries so loudly.
Infant Grouch made enough of a fuss that I felt I needed to go into her room, reach into her crib and pick her screamy little self up. When she was in my arms her cries subsided immediately but her hiccupy catching of the breath lasted for a long time after. I wiped the salty streaks from her cheeks. Eventually she softened.
I sat in her room and held her. I am typically not a proponent of rocking my kids to sleep even though I know myself well enough to admit that personally I can’t handle implementing the cry-it-out system. Each baby scream is like the epicenter of an earthquake and shock waves radiate directly from their little bodies directly into my nervous system. I can feel the shrieks vibrating my bones. I am unable to tune it out, I can’t focus on anything else with the screams echoing in my ears. Even though I was exhausted, I knew I couldn’t leave her to cry herself to sleep. Maybe I just think that because she doesn’t do this every night.
At least she hasn’t so far.
I probably have prided myself far too much about the fact that my babies generally fall asleep in their cribs awake and I have mentally poo-pooed those who say they are forced to hold their kids until they are sleep on a nightly basis. But this evening, my body melded with the cushions while her body melted into mine. And I kept rocking.
It was easier.
Maybe this is how it begins.
She grabbed my hand and squeezed it hard enough to stop the blood from flowing to my fingertip, and it must have caused an unnatural backflow of blood surging back towards my chest because even when I wanted to be mad at her for not letting me rest somehow she managed to lift me up out of my horrific mood.
She unearthed a rare gem out of the rough.